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 North Manchester, Indiana

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Source: News-Journal, March 14, 1940


C.E. Ruppel Friday will observe the 100th anniversary of the day his mother, Mrs. Amanda Milvina Aughibaugh Ruppel arrived in North Manchester. The story she told of the trip from Ohio to Indiana with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Aughinbaugh, is of more than passing interest, and Mr. Ruppel's account of it, as told to him by his mother follows below. Mrs. Ruppel died November 18, 1916.

One hundred years ago tomorrow, March 15, 1840 my mother came to North Manchester. They left Tuscarawas county, Ohio, on the last day of November with visions of reaching Indiana January 1, 1840, to select their land, start a log cabin, and clear what land they could to plant spring crops. [Editor: another writer places the year as 1844--see below.]

The weather in November and December, 1839, was very warm for the time of the year with much rain. The first few days of their journey went very well; then came trouble. The rains had raised the rivers and creeks to a flood stage, in some places washing away the log bridges and water was too high to ford. This would call for a detour but not like the detours of today as the roads were not marked. They went through dense forests and heavy under brush. Sometimes they were forced to clear a road to get far enough up stream to ford. At times if the weather looked to be clearing they would camp and wait for the water to recede.

On December 23, 1838, cold winds came from the northwest with blinding snows, drifting the trails to a great depth. They were forced to make camp for several days. This was done by making two sides from the two covered wagons at right angles, then cutting poles placing them to top of the wagons and supporting them on the other end with a Y shaped poles at the other end. They cut brush and limbs with leaves (these being mostly oak which retain their leaves nearly all winter) and placed them on top of roof, the sides being made the same way. This made a shelter for the horses and a few cattle. One wagon was used for supplies and sleeping quarters, the other for cooking and some furniture.

For nearly three weeks they were in this camp when the weather began clearing and they started on the trail. Here is when the trouble started, as they lost their directions and went north instead of west traveling for days. Then one day they came to a large lake which they found to be Lake Erie, about ten miles east of Toledo, Ohio. They traveled the lake shore making the fastest time they had made to Toledo, then took the old Toledo and Fort Wayne trail to Fort Wayne.

On March 10 they arrived in Fort Wayne. This was my mother's birthday and she was seven years old. She always held this day in memory of her first birthday in Indiana. Leaving Fort Wayne on the old Illinois trail now State Road No. 14 to the Eel river road south of south Whitley, then on this road to North Manchester.

Arriving here about noon on March 15, 1840, they found a town with twelve log cabins on Main street, on the ground now housing the business district. The post office in a building in a general store on the site where the Freeze Jewelry store, is now located. A log jail standing back of the present site of the Lutheran church. The start of a tannery building on the river bank just back of the Jean Oppenheim residence. A small log tavern on the ground of the Reiff grocery. The Harter mill was about ready for business in the southwest part of town by the Wabash road. This mill was just east of the mouth of the present mill race, and only about forty feet from the present water's edge. Several of the old mill stones are now below this site covered with sand. C.E. Ruppel says that many times when a boy he played on the old timbers of this mill, but all that was left was the heavy framing timbers. The old brush dam is partly left on the bottom of the river and can be seen in the summer when water is low. It was located about two hundred feet west of the present dam. The busiest place in town was where the Ulrey Lumber yards are now located. The grist mill, saw mill, and foundry. The old dam which furnished water power for part of these was located back of the house where Homer Johnson lives, part of which is now on the bottom of the river.

The first white playmates my mother had were in Indiana as the place they left was an Indian settlement in Ohio. She at one time used Indian dialect as much as English.

My grandfather, John A. Aughinbaugh, went in business about as soon as arriving instead of taking up land. In 1846 he became post master and housed the post office in his tavern. He again was postmaster starting in November, 1861.

Source: NMHS Newsletter Feb 2008

John Aughinbaugh (from records at Wabash Co. Courthouse)

John was a son of Henry and Susanna (Sieple) Aughinbaugh, from York County, Pa. John had married to Susan Gary/Garry in Tuscarawas County, Ohio before 1840 and by her had a child, Amanda Melvina. Susan Gary died, leaving John a widower. After John moved to Wyandot County, Ohio, he became engaged to a Miss Fensall and had published their banns to marry. John pulled a fast one and abandoned his engagement to marry in the fall of 1844 Miss Eleanora Vanarsdale, a daughter of Peter Quick Vanarsdale and Catherine Powelson.

Miss Fensall sued John for breach of promise to marry and won her case. It was the first case tried by the Court in the newly formed Wyandot County, Ohio, 1845. Miss Fensall charged also that John and some of his male friends tried to defraud her out of property she felt she was entitled to, but owned by the above mentioned John and his friends in Marseilles, Ohio.

John had traveled to Michigan to scout out some wooded land in that state, but found it wanting. John was a saddlemaker by trade, but in N. Manchester, Indiana he ran a drug and general store and served as a Post Master for that village. His daughter, Amanda Melvina is said to have been able to speak in the Wyandot tongue. John bought a pony from the departing Wyandot tribe, 1844-45, which he kept for over 20 years.

BREACH OF PROMISE Buckeye Eagle June 25, 1845

A case of this kind was tried in the Court of Common Pleas in this place last week. The parties were Mr. John Aughenbaugh and Miss Louisa Fenzell, recently of Grand Twp., we believe. After a patient hearing, the Jury returned a verdict of $1,850 in favor of Miss Fenzell, the Plaintiff. The case was somewhat interesting, but we are unable to give its details.

The biography of the one whose name heads this sketch furnishes a notable example of what industry and good financial management may accomplish, even when unaided by the possession of average bodily health and strength. In the spring of 1844, John Aughinbaugh came to the then straggling village of North Manchester, in poor health, without money, and an entire stranger.

Being a saddler by trade, he opened a small shop there -- the first in the place -- having managed to borrow money enough to make a start with. In the course of time he accumulated a sufficient amount to enable him to buy out Richard Helvey's tavern stand, and in 1847 to start a drug store. A general grocery, dry goods and hardware establishment was subsequently added, and in course of time he came to own more than one half of the town of Manchester.

A close calculator, though by no means a penurious man, he has been remarkably successful from the very first. On the ensuing spring after his arrival in the place a total stranger, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and afterwards appointed Postmaster, serving in the former capacity five years, and fulfilling the duties of the latter seven.

In April of 1855, Mr. Auginbaugh, having at that time a large family and becoming tired of town life, sold out his interests in the village and bought a part of the large farm on which he at present resides.

At the time of his coming to the country Mr. Aughinbaugh brought with him a pony which he had purchased of the Wyandotte Indians (with whom he had passed seven years of his younger life very happily), and the pony is at the present time, May, 1875, still living. Her age, according to the best information at hand, is thirty-six years.

Henry Aughinbaugh Married Susanna Sieple

Son - John Aughinbaugh

born 1814 in York Co. Pa married Susan Garey

(John Aughinbaugh moved to North Manchester in 1844 and died

10 -15- 1876.)

Daughter - Amanda Melvina

born 1835 married Hamilton A. Young in Wabash Co., died 1916

2nd marriage Michael Rupp

3rd marriage Edmund Ruppel

John Aughinbaugh

2nd marriage Ellen Vanarsdoll 1844

dau. of Peter Vanarsdoll


Mary Alice married John Kuhnle

2nd marriage Irvin Vorhise

3rd marriage Moses Krichbaum

Lucy Marie born 1849 married Henry Krisher died 1914

Henry P. born 1851 married Rachel Fannin

2nd marriage Ella R. Simms died 1930

John R. born 1852 married Ida Martin

2nd marriage Mary Bicewinter

Franklin M. born 1855 married Jennie Porter

2nd marriage Sarah J. Wilson died 1937

Charlie C. born 1855 married Olive M. Keelin

Ida A. born 1856 married John Fodge died 1926

Duff born 1859

Hattie A born 1861 married Henry S. Messmore died 1941

B. William born 1864 married Minnie Mary Walters died 1925

Orpha Ellen born 1866 married John Shively died 1918

Effie B. born 1870 married Charles Gill died 1950

Editor's note - The preceding information was taken from courthouse records and reproduced exactly as recorded. Some alternate information was provided by Wilma Mulholland, great granddaughter of a son of John and Elenora VanArsdale. Information is available indicating Franklin's middle initial was P., not M. There was a marriage between Franklin and Mollie Baker in 1899. The middle name for Duff was Green. Variations from the original material are shown in italics.